About Yaakov

Yaakov Astor, founding Editor-in-Chief of Zman Magazine, has written, co-written or edited more than 30 published books and hundreds of articles. His most recent books are Rav Avigdor Miller on Olam Haba, The Secret Life Of Gershon Burd and Nothing Bad Ever Happens, (re-titled, Run Rachel Run) which documents the amazing Holocaust story of his mother-in-law, Rachel Blum.

In 2014, he published The Underground, which documents the incredible and often dangerous work of the organization that sent hundreds of Torah teachers behind the Iron Curtain to educate a thirsting generation of Soviet Jews about their lost heritage.

He is also the author of Rav Avigdor Miller on Emunah and Bitachon, which collects, assembles and organizes in engaging question-and-answer form Rav Miller’s thought-provoking ideas about emunah and bitachon (faith and trust in God), which until now were scattered throughout his shiurim and seforim. In 2016, Yaakov Astor was the chief editor of Rabbi Miller’s biography, published under the title, “Rav Avigdor Miller – His Life And His Revolution.”

Before that, he authored two volumes of The Hidden Hand: The Hidden Hand — The Holocaust and The Hidden Hand: Uncovering Divine Providence in Major Events of the 20th Century, which explore the possibility of Divine Providence in modern events, including the Holocaust.

He is also author of Soul Searching: Seeking Scientific Foundation for the Jewish Tradition of an Afterlife, which compares millennia-old teachings in Judaism about the Afterlife with modern day scientific research into near-death-experiences (NDE’s) and reincarnation.

He was also editor of Sefer Nehemiah and Trei Asar, Vol. 1, in the ArtScroll Tanach Series.

In addition to his books, he has also published hundreds articles in Yated Ne’eman, HaModia, Mishpachah Magazine, The Jewish Observer, Zman magazine, Aish.com and other publications.

Beyond his writing career, he is a former yeshivah teacher and principal who has also taught in various kiruv (outreach) capacities.

He served as the Deputy Director of Zechor Yemos Olam (the Holocaust education branch of Torah Umesorah), helping administer its online course to foremost educators and leading annual tours to Poland. This course is the result of working closely with Rabbi Joseph Elias, zt”l, on producing the Holocaust Curriculum for Torah Umesorah. A scaled-down a version of that curriculum became the book Tragedy & Rebirth.

Another notable writing accomplishment is his work with Rabbi Berel Wein in producing the website jewishhistory.org and an online Jewish History course for the Destiny Foundation.

Partial List Of Yaakov’s Writing Accomplishments


Destiny Foundation:

Shalheves: Writer/Editor for Rabbi Ezriel Tauber, zt”l

Articles: more than 100 published online and in print

  • Zman magazine
  • Aish.com
  • Yated
  • Mishpacha Magazine
  • HaModia
  • Jewish Observer
  • And more

Torah Umesorah:

Agudath Israel: Contributing author for volumes:


Bottom Line Design (Marketing Firm):

  • Including materials for KOF-K, Frisch, Dirshu, TAB

Script Writer:

  • “A Taste of Torah” (WEVD)

Website: www.jewishsoulsearching.com

Blog: https://yaakovastor.wordpress.com

12 thoughts on “About Yaakov

    Brent Baer said:
    December 7, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Yaakov, this is terrific!
    You pulled together your work and by making it available to us out here in cyberspace, are making this work a better place. Thanks, my friend.

    I just launched my website-(still needs work)
    open to feedback/comments to improve.

    All our best
    The Baers

    Marion Kummerow said:
    July 22, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Hello Yaakov,

    there’s a new book out, supposedly written by Rachel Blum herself (??). You might want to check the book if it infringes on your copyright of Nothing Bad Ever Happens.

    Mark Goldberg said:
    May 7, 2019 at 10:48 am

    how can i contact Yaakov Astor? does he have an email address I can write to? or is what I’m writing now go directly to him?

      Yaakov Astor responded:
      May 7, 2019 at 4:27 pm

      Give me yours and I’ll reply.

    Aaron Blackman said:
    February 19, 2020 at 3:02 am

    R Yaakov, I want to contact you for a possible article for Z’man, please send me your contact information again.

    Steven Brizel said:
    March 29, 2020 at 7:36 am

    We read your fascinating and very insightful article about Communist China and the Coronavirus over Shabbos in the Yated Can you send us a link to a copy so hat it gets even further distribution in the Torsh observant world among our friends and relatives?

      Yaakov Astor responded:
      March 29, 2020 at 11:24 am

      What email?

    Mark DeRosa said:
    March 31, 2020 at 2:04 pm

    Dear Rabbi,

    Will anyone (such as kindle) be releasing an ebook version of “Rav Avigdor Miller on Olam Haba” soon? I assume that the audio book is available in the form of 51 lectures from Simchas… right?

    thanks in advance!

      Yaakov Astor responded:
      March 31, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      I don’t know of plans to create an ebook. It’s a decision for the publisher, Judaica Press. I guess you can ask them. The lectures are available on simchashachaim.com
      Kol tuv,

        Mark DeRosa said:
        April 1, 2020 at 2:01 am

        Thank you so much for your reply!!!!!! I have your Emunah/Bitachon book from Kindle, and find it helpful as a supplement to the Rav Miller’s lectures. I’m writing again, to ask for your prayer, since your reply made me think that this an opportunity to fulfill my histadlus? I’m a gentile, and have wanted to become Jewish for about 20 years, but never attained it. Now I’m set back with cancer and the pandemic, and so I am afraid my time is running out. I know H-shem is just, but I’m never sure if my efforts are enough, which is why I wanted to visit one of the Gadols in Israel to ask for a blessing, but never managed it. I feel like I have an opportunity now to ask for your prayer, and want to impose that on you (with your permission, of course). That is all I wanted to say. Thank you in advance, and please take care!

        Yaakov Astor responded:
        April 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm

        Nothing stands in the way of sincere yearning to return to Hashem.

    Avraham Cohen said:
    May 9, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    Reb Yakkov, sholom I would like to speak to you about something important, if you can please email me at avcohen21@gmail.com Thank You looking forward to hearing from you shortly

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